Whitchurch Men 1sts 6

Northop Hall Mens 2nds 1

Whitchurch returned to winning ways at the weekend against a tough Northop Hall side.

The visitors were able to give the hosts a good run for their money and their performance was not reflected by the score line.

The first half was a pretty even affair, with Northop applying pressure from the start, mainly down their left wing.

Jack Barnes was impressive down the right with composure and energy to get through players time and again, and was belting balls into the dee and forcing saves from the keeper.

Whitchurch were able to go ahead first as Barnes added the first of his four with a perfect drag flick from a short corner which beat everyone.

He followed it up with a second that wasn't quite so well-executed, but was good enough to go two up.

Paul 'Sturge' Leigh had another strong game in goal, closing down attackers and ensuring no goalmouth scrambles got past.

Northop Hall did finally get the breakthrough, with a quickly-taken hit from outside the dee getting crossed to a player who was able to hit it past Sturge, and at half-time the score was 2-1, giving the Reds plenty to work with.

After half time Jon Chappell scored an excellent team goal.

A free hit about five metres outside the Northop 23 metre line was hit four times in as many seconds as it moved from player to player.

A strong drive into the dee by Ruscoe ended as a stick block prevented his shot, and a penalty stroke was awarded.

Barnes put his pre-game practice to good use and put the ball away confidently.

Another Whitchurch short corner routine was slightly off, but was recovered well and Barnes buried it into the goal.

Finally, a short corner was cleared out to the right by Northop, but was sent back in to a group of three Reds near the penalty spot, and Cooper stepped up to put it into the left side of the net.

Another win against Sale at the weekend would send Whitchurch back to the top of the league.